Crash or clash? Autonomy 10 years on

Edith Esch

in Maintaining Control

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9789622099234
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207165 | DOI:
Crash or clash? Autonomy 10 years on

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This chapter shows how the notion of autonomy has spread into language pedagogy in the past 10 years and how this mainstreaming has been accompanied by conceptual distortions and discursive dissonances. Such dissonances can be located in the contradictions between the discourses of individual personal autonomy and of critical socially situated autonomy. It argues that people are at a crossroads and that if they take the notion of social learning seriously, opting for the road of individual personal autonomy is not sufficient. They need to take a whole-community approach to autonomy and reassert the critical dimension originally associated with autonomy and foreign language learning.

Keywords: language pedagogy; conceptual distortions; discursive dissonances; personal autonomy; social autonomy; social learning; foreign language learning

Chapter.  6630 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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